Family-Based Immigration Cases, Other Than Marriage



A U.S. citizen may file for his/her spouse,  for a  parent, or a child under 21, as they are known as "immediate family members" and can be processed without any waiting period, only processing time. They may be applied for in the U.S or if they are overseas.  If they are in the U.S. they can be applied for and the foreign relative may register for permanent residency as long as he/she had a legal entry into the U.S., although now illegal. If overseas, there will be a U.S. Immigration legal process, followed by overseas processing through the Department of State, resulting if all papers and information are OK, an IMMIGRANT VISA to enter the U.S.

For the past two years and as of December 1, 2020, a green card holder can apply for a spouse and minor children under 21. Previously, this category had a waiting period of up to two years. If the foreign spouse and/or minor children are in the U.S. in legal status, then adjustment of status to permanent residency is available to them immediately. If they are overseas, then overseas processing which culminates in an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an Immigrant Visa can be commenced.

GREEN CARDS FOR CHILDREN OVER 21 OR MARRIED CHILDREN:   A Petition by a U.S. citizen for a child unmarried over 21 may be filed, but the child must remain overseas, as this category now has a waiting period  of over six years.  A Petition by a U.S. citizen for a married child may be filed, but the child must remain overseas, as this category now has a waiting period of 12.5  years.

GREEN CARDS FOR BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF U.S. CITIZENS:   A U.S. citizen may apply for a sister or brother, but the waiting period is now at 14 years. The foreign sister or brother may not stay in the U.S. illegally waiting for their filing to be current and available. They must remain overseas unless they are lucky enough to have a Non-Immigrant Visa which can be extended multiple times, such as an E-1 or E-2

GREEN CARDS FOR Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Provides Protections for Immigrant Spouses  


See separate article on this subject:

GREEN CARDS FOR THOSE APPROVED FOR ASYLUM:  A person who was approved for asylum may apply for a green card one year and one day after the date of approval of his/her asylum case.


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• Spouses

Marriages Cases

Same-Sex Marriages

Transgender marriages

For Parents

• For Children

Fiance Visas


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Asylum - Based


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